Straddling the border between Central and South America, Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. From the country’s high altitude sprawling capital Bogotá to the Caribbean island San Andres, Colombia offers some of the best natural resources in the world. The country is known for its robust education system, which makes it an appealing place to build out a local employment hub.
In 2021, the Colombian government passed law 2101 reducing the daily working hours in Colombia. The new standard working week will be capped at 42 hours, instead of 48. The law didn’t go into effect until 2023.
This new law marks a shift in shortening the ordinary working day without reducing employees’ salaries. Although the new law is finally being implemented in 2023, the change in the number of hours will gradually be reduced for all employees over the course of a few years, until 2026.
In Colombia, a standard day shift is between 6am-9pm, and daily working hours can be either eight hours per day or nine hours per day.
Standard hours of work can be split between a Monday-Friday schedule, or a Monday-Saturday schedule.
Employers may still have employees work up to 48 hours in one week without overtime, but by 2026, they have to reduce the number to 42 hours per week. Employers should begin reducing employees working hours in Summer of 2023 and create policies to implement these shifts in their employment contracts.
Hours of work in Colombia can be spread out between five or six days.
Employees who work management or directorial positions are not legally bound to a standard work week because they are paid a salary and can therefore work more than the maximum working hours.
Remote work hours in Colombia are the same as they would be in-person. Employers should offer flexibility for employees who work remotely while also not expecting them to work or be available outside of their normal schedule.
Employees are always entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 48 (or 42, depending on the employment contract) hours in one week.
Employees and employers can agree to flexible working hours as long as they have a rest day on Sunday. This means that work can be done at a minimum of 4 hours per day but can not exceed more than 9 hours per day (or more than 48 hours per week).
Night shifts are between 9pm and 6am. Employees who work night shifts are entitled to a premium pay of 35% of their regular wage in Colombia, unless they work a continuous shift of 36 hours per week, split between day and night shifts.
Employees who work more than 48 hours in one week are entitled to overtime pay at 25% of their regular salary. Overtime can not exceed two hours per day or 12 hours per week.
Night shift employees are entitled to additional overtime pay at a 75% premium of their regular salary.
In Colombia, rules for break periods are not consistent among every company; however, employers should break the workday into two parts so that employees can take a break for lunch. There is no standard break time but it usually consists of a 30 minute-1 hour meal period, though some workers might take up to 2 hours.
Companies with more than 50 employees are required to give employees two breaks per day.
All employees are entitled to a weekly rest day on Sunday. Rest days should always be 24 hours of continuous time off. Employees can agree to have their weekly rest day be on a Saturday if the employer needs them to work Sunday.
Employees may agree to work on their weekly rest day and are entitled to a premium pay of 75% of their regular salary, or the employer must provide another paid rest day.
According to employment law in Colombia, requiring employees to work on Sundays should be an occasional occurrence. Sunday daytime work is paid at a 75% premium above their regular salary, while Sunday night shift employees are paid at 110% premium. Any overtime at night on Sunday is paid at 150% of the employees regular wages.
For more information about country-wide regulations, consider visiting our Colombian employer-of-record page.
Employees who are required to work on any of Colombia’s 18 public holidays are required to be paid at a 75% premium above their regular salary. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a paid day off.
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